(Philippines - 1983)
Directed by Cirio H. Santiago. Written by Howard Cohen. Cast: Steve Sandor, Andria Savio, William Ostrander, Mike Lane, Ken Metcalfe, Julie Gray, Monique St. Pierre, Joe Zucchero, Jon Harris III. (R, 82 mins)
Though Italy was largely ground zero for the 1980s post-nuke ROAD WARRIOR ripoff, it should come as no surprise that Cirio H. Santiago, the undisputed king of Filipino exploitation, wasted no time in getting his own post-apocalyptic saga in theaters when he saw the craze gaining momentum. Santiago (1936-2008) schlepped his way around the Filipino movie industry from the mid-1950s on before finding his niche in drive-in trash after forming a partnership with Roger Corman in the early 1970s. Corman would co-produce and distribute Santiago's Manila-shot T&A actioners like FLY ME (1973) and COVER GIRL MODELS (1975) as well as 1974's immortal T.N.T. JACKSON ("She'll put you in traction!"). Santiago and Corman would part ways by the late '70s as Santiago had some other successes with EBONY, IVORY & JADE (1976), THE MUTHERS (1976), VAMPIRE HOOKERS (1978) and DEATH FORCE (1978). Santiago and Corman reunited for 1981's FIRECRACKER, a remake of T.N.T. JACKSON. By the mid-to-late 1980s, the prolific Santiago was on a roll, with Corman's Concorde Pictures releasing a slew of his post-nukes (1987's EQUALIZER 2000, 1988's THE SISTERHOOD, 1992's DUNE WARRIORS), horror (1987's DEMON OF PARADISE), vigilante exploitation (1985's NAKED VENGEANCE), cop movies (1986's SILK), RAMBO ripoffs (1986's THE DEVASTATOR), post-PLATOON Vietnam sagas (1987's EYE OF THE EAGLE, 1988's NAM ANGELS, 1989's better-than-expected EYE OF THE EAGLE III), and one that was a fusion of everything (1986's insane FUTURE HUNTERS). Santiago slowed down a little in the 1990s, but still had time to crank out several BLOODSPORT knockoffs like the 1993 duo of ANGELFIST (with Vidal Sassoon's karate champ daughter Cat) and LIVE BY THE FIST, and a few more 'Nam offerings that provided jobs for fading American tough guys, such as 1992's BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY with Jan Michael Vincent, and 1993's KILL ZONE with David Carradine and Dallas Cowboys great Tony Dorsett. By the early 2000s, he was making jingoistic military actioners like 2003's WHEN EAGLES STRIKE, and producing a pair of 2006 films with Mark Dacascos: THE HUNT FOR EAGLE ONE (2006) and its sequel THE HUNT FOR EAGLE ONE: CRASH POINT (2006), which transplanted his Vietnam formula to the post-9/11 era.
|Cirio H. Santiago (1936-2008)|
|Steve Sandor IS Stryker!|
|William Ostrander in his best-known role as bullying|
Buddy Repperton in John Carpenter's CHRISTINE
|Thai DVD art for WATER WARS|